Category Archives: cocktails

Chef Michael O’Dowd & Julian Wright to open Las Palmas Cantina in Chandler

Chef Michael O’Dowd is making his way back to the valley’s restaurant scene running the kitchen of restaurateur Julian Wright’s(Pedal Haus Brewery and others) new restaurant Las Palmas Cantina in downtown Chandler. When the restaurant opens in May it will serve coastal cuisine with Yucatan inspiration that Wright found when traveling to Playa del Carmen and Tulum areas of Mexico.

Executive chef Michael O’Dowd

O’Dowd returns to the valley after most recently working in Sedona at L’Auberge de Sedona as executive chef. When in Phoenix O’Dowd scored the coveted AAA Five Diamond  and Forbes Five Star Award  while executive chef at Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of downtown Chandler and to bringing one of my favorite regions of the world to this community,” said Wright. “ I love that Chandler is still very independent. Everyone is still very much your neighbor.”

Las Palmas Cantina menus

O’Dowd’s menu will highlight the “sand to table” concept with seafood from local fish monger Chula Seafood along with “high country” ingredients. Fish available will include Pompano, Triggerfish, Snapper and more for ceviche and other dishes.

Las Palmas Sandia cocktail

Sweet & spice are tastes you’ll find at Las Palmas Cantina with your shared plates and lighter dishes that will include a jerk chicken Shaken Greens and Cochinta Pibil.

“I haven’t really seen anyone in Arizona exploring this type of cuisine or region,” said O’Dowd. “Being able to learn about the culture and history of the Mayans and create a way to pay homage to the past while creating new ideas, dishes and flavors is what I thrive on.”

Just in time for summer, Las Palmas Cantina’s beverage program will offer refreshing tropical specialty cocktails and Mexican inspired craft beers brewed exclusively for Las Palmas. A selection of tequilas, mezcals and agua frescas will be offered and used as ingredients in the cocktail program.

Need a job

The 5,000 square foot restaurant is currently hiring and those interested can apply in person at the restaurant at 95 W. Boston in downtown Chandler on online at their website.

 

 

The Bar opens in Arcadia with The Dude watching over

The owners that have brought the Phoenix restaurant scene Arcadia’s and downtown Phoenix’s Nook Kitchen and the revamped Dilly Dally Lounge have opened The Bar.

Located along the bustling Indian School Rd. down the street from their other Arcadia restaurants The Bar pours “The Big Lebowski” inspired cocktails and plates up approachable bar food.

Owner Frank Vairo says, “We’re excited to add The Bar to our growing restaurant group and happy to be a part of this neighborhood. The Bar is a kitschy place for innovative cocktails along with familiar bar-style food that’s been elevated with fresh ingredients and house-made menu items.”

The Bar
Photos courtesy of Annie Marum

Cocktails at The Bar

Fans of the late ’90s cult film The Big Lebowski are encouraged to stop in after bowling a few games to sip on unique cocktails such as the “Dudebro” which combine Absolut vodka,  St. George coffee and Irish cream or The Bar’s version of the classic Margarita “Go With the Flow” which combines Absolut Lime vodka, Deep Eddy lemon, Aperol, sweet & sour juice and splash of soda over ice.

Not feeling “The Dude” in you, classic cocktails such as an Old Fashioned and others are prepared with enthusiasm and skill.

Approachable bar food

Using locally sourced ingredients for his house made dishes, chef Nick Larosa takes bar food up a couple of notches as he prepares comfort food staples. Scratch made potato skins & onion rings, Thick Cut Bacon BLT and the Double Decker American Burger on Noble Bread to name a few.

His proudest menu item is his own creation, John Blaze Honey  Hot Wings also known as “JBHH”. Hot wing fans will appreciate chef Nick’s signature dish and will notice how seriously he takes his mild and blazing hot wings.

A Cookies n Cream Reese’s Pieces Sundae is a good way to cure your craving for something sweet for dessert.

The Bar is open daily from 3 p.m. -2 a.m. and is at 3174 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix. Check out there website for more information.

 

Upscale Toca Madera coming to Scottsdale Fashion Square

With all the development going on around downtown Scottsdale you may have missed that Scottsdale Fashion Square was doing a major renovation on the north side off the Camelview parking lot. The new luxury wing will include upscale restaurants with Los Angeles based Toca Madera being one and Ocean 44 the other.

This will be the third location for Toca Madera with a restaurant in Dubai and the flagship West Hollywood restaurant serving traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern approach.

Adobo Steak

“Making something already exceptional even better is driving the luxury renovation at Scottsdale Fashion Square, and that means creating opulent settings for shoppers to unwind and refresh,” said Michael Guerin, Senior Vice President of Leasing, Macerich.

“The addition of market-exclusive culinary concepts like Toca Madera, along with some of the world’s most respected retail brands, reinforces the property’s reputation as the market’s dominant luxury destination.” 

Toca Madera eats

The menu emphasizes organic and locally sourced ingredients for bold flavors and plenty of options for diners including plenty of gluten-free and vegan dishes.

On the menu currently at the West Hollywood restaurant are Ensenada style fish tacos, A La Roca with American Wagyu beef, Enchiladas de Mole, Chipolte Dusted Tofu Tostadas and the popular Churro Ice Cream Sandwich.

Spill out cafe seating will be available for people to enjoy a bite to eat while sipping on a tequila or mescal, a farm to glass cocktail that uses fresh ingredients or a glass of wine from around the world.

Scottsdale is a market we’ve always wanted to be in,” said Tosh Berman, CEO and Co-founder of The Madera Group. “With Scottsdale Fashion Square’s exciting luxury expansion happening, we knew this was going to be the perfect location for us. We look forward to introducing Toca Madera to the community and showcasing what will be the ultimate in luxury dining.”

Check back for updates or visit their website.

Blind Dragon Karaoke Lounge opens in Scottsdale

Start warming up your singing voice as the Blind Dragon Karaoke Lounge opened this week in Scottsdale. Asian inspired bites, cocktails and a themed private karaoke lounge is all you need to become the next American Idol.

The sleek and modern lounge has locations in West Hollywood and Dubai with owners hope to give guests the ultimate Hollywood/Las Vegas experience.

Blind Dragon Karaoke rooms

6 themed rooms come in sizes that can hold groups of 8, 14 or 20 and each have a flat screen TV and audio system.

Scottsdale’s Blind Dragon was designed by Scottsdale designer George Monzure and features artwork throughout its 8,500 square feet with a mural painted along the length of the wall by the lounge’s main bar. The design is similar to the West Hollywood location designed by John Sofio.Blind Dragon Karaoke Lounge

Reservations recommended

Blind Dragon is opened Thurs. – Sat. nights from 6p.m. – 2a.m. with reservations recommended to reserve your private karaoke room.

Guest will be able to sip on colorful cocktails and snack on Asian inspired bites, small plates and a few heartier plates when not trying to become the next Pink or Usher.

To make your reservation email info@blinddragonscottsdale.com The Blind Dragon Karaoke Lounge is at 7419 E. Indian Plaza Dr.  Suite A. Scottsdale 85251

 

 

 

Downtown Deli Tavern breathes new life into a classic corner deli

Phoenix restaurant group Genuine Concepts wanted in on the growing restaurant and bar scene happening in downtown Phoenix and have announced a Monday December 18th opening of their 12 restaurant, Downtown Deli Tavern.

Downtown Phoenix old timers may have eaten at the original Downtown Deli before it closed a couple of years ago after 46 years of serving patrons breakfast & lunch. Genuine Concepts owners Tucker Woodbury and Jim Riley purchased the property and have given it a new vibe while keeping true to its roots.

Unlike the original deli the tavern will serve lunch, dinner and cocktails until late in the evening and early morning with its corner bar atmosphere.

“It seemed to me that there has been a little bit of a land rush in downtown Phoenix and now that other companies and businesses are coming, we wanted to make sure that we put our stake in the ground and held onto a spot,” Woodbury states.

Eating at Downtown Deli Tavern

Executive Chef Justin Woodard’s menu is comfort food inspired with dishes such as Mom’s Meatloaf, Omelet and Hash, Turkey Noodle Soup, Egg Salad Sandwich and signature Fried PB&J and Smothered Browns will create a buzz.

The full menu is available all day as will be the $.50 cup of coffee along with grab n go items and weekly list of 7 for $7 food items.

“The food we have created for The Downtown Deli Tavern should resonate with its over the top comfort food that we can all identify with,” says Woodard. “Food to me is all about the memories and this place has a menu that will leave a lasting impression on its guests. Food should be fun, not too fussy and simple. I think we’ve done a great job of creating a menu that reflects that.

Classic Cocktails

Beverage director Chris Hardin is keeping it simple with basic and classic cocktails with his modern twist including White Russian, Salty Dog, Deli Old Fashioned and the Strong Island Iced Tea.

Proud of its Arizona roots all draft beers at Downtown Deli Tavern all Arizona brewed.

“The Downtown Deli Tavern will be equal parts food and bar and we hope that people recognize that end even though its a little bit quirky, we love old buildings and we love old Phoenix and this project has been around for so long, why change things too much. We are going to let people figure it out for themselves when they visit,” says Woodbury. “It’s very classic rock. It has an approachable space, with friendly people and affordable pricing.”

Downtown Deli Tavern is at 130 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004 and will be open Monday-Wednesday 10:30am-11pm, Thursday 10:30am-12am, Friday 10:30am-2am, Saturday 3:00pm-2:00am & will be closed on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar brings together a culinary dream team

Housed in a former Arby’s restaurant just east of downtown Scottsdale J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar opened without fanfare as most restaurants do nowadays especially when you consider who’s creating the menu and making sure it’s executed the way it should be.

J’s Kaiyo owner Peji Malihi brought in chef Jason McGrath and sushi chef Todd Register to serve not only sushi but sharable dishes with a Mediterranean and Eastern influenced dishes.  Think Moroccan spiced lamb and crab stuffed and fire charred avocado rolled in exotic Asian spices and seeds.

J's Kaiyo
chef Jason McGrath. Photos courtesy of Chanelle Sinclair

J’s Kaiyo Sushi

All three are committed to the freshest ingredients including seafood for the sushi bar. So much so that the sushi bar is closed on Sunday’s because they can’t get their daily delivery of fresh seafood. Chef Register knows his sushi too as he comes to J’s Kaiyo from Roka Akor and RA Sushi and plans to use all fresh fish daily to maximize freshness and flavor.

“The focus is always on keeping the dishes fresh, clean, and simple,” McGrath says. “The only thing you’ll find in our freezers is our mochi ice cream.” As Malihi likes to say, “the roll speaks for itself,” there is no need for heavy sauces, creams, or batters to give their sushi mouthwatering flavor. “It’s all about sharing creative, quality food with the community,” McGrath says.

Family friendly and Izakaya

J’s Kaiyo is a family friendly restaurant named after Malihi’s son and McGraths nephew Jayden that includes a kid’s menu. McGrath practically grew up in the kitchen as his father Robert is an award-winning chef known for his work at The Roaring Fork and other local establishments and food festivals.

Adults will love the Japanese sake menu at J’s Kaiyo along with a full complement of craft cocktails, wines and beers. Communal drinking and sharing of sake known as “Izakaya” in Japan is encouraged as sake has a unique flavor profiles.

J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar is open Monday Friday for lunch & dinner starting at 11:30 a.m. and Saturday’s for dinner.

The restaurant is at 4412 N. Miller Rd.Scottsdale 85251 480-427-2526. For more info visit their website.

 

Nico Heirloom Kitchen debuts new cocktail menu

Gilbert’s Nico Heirloom Kitchen is debuting a new cocktail menu with 8 new cocktails. Several use barrel ages spirits including gin and rum.

Smoke n Barrel

Here are the new cocktails and their ingredients.

Rose Guerra – Raspberry vodka, fresh raspberries, peach puree, fresh lemon juice, French rose

Smoke n Barrel – Barrel-aged Appleton estate rum, Cynar 70, banana liqueur, Green Chartreuse, espresso, vanilla tobacco syrup, cream

Nonna’s Cider – Glen Grant Scotch, Apple pie liqueur, Ginger liqueur, Frangelico, fresh lemon juice, Fever tree Ginger Ale

Plymouth’s Peak – Barrel Aged Plymouth’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, Lavender syrup, Creme de Violette, Cassis Sherry blend, Cherry bitters

Carda Bonds – Rittenhouse BIB, fresh lemon juice, Meletti 1870, Amaro Nonino, Cardamon bitters, Absinthe, lemon essence

Del Strappo – Exotico Reposado Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Cinnamon Agave, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, Serrano bitters, vanilla extract

Bella Nueva (Ice Queen’s at Virtu spin-off) – Peppercorn infused Tito’s vodka, Strawberry shrub, Luxardo Maraschino, Orgeat, fresh lemon juice, Rhubarb bitters, Champagne foam

Pink Sangria – French Rose, Vodka, Peach liqueur, Strawberry puree, Soda water.

Nico Heirloom Kitchen is at 366 N Gilbert Rd Gilbert, AZ 85234 http://www.nicoaz.com/

 

Famous 48 opens in November in downtown Scottsdale

Update: With a month under their belt Famous 48 will start serving brunch on Sat. & Sun’s possibly starting this weekend Dec. 2 & 3rd.

Square One Concepts wasted no time in filling the space left vacant by Crab & Mermaid earlier this year. Realizing people in old town Scottsdale prefer tavern style regional American fare the restaurant group will be opening Famous 48 on Monday November 6th.

Famous 48
Half roasted chicken and other photos courtesy of J. Martin Harris Photography.

Once opened Famous 48 will have an ambience that balances both casual and fine dining and will celebrate the regional cuisine of the lower 48 states of the United States including BBQ, seafood, pizza and other American classic comfort foods. The tavern themed menu will serve food cooked with fresh and high quality ingredients using an artisanal approach to cooking.

Signature cocktails, craft beers from Arizona and wines will compliment the regional cuisine.

Famous 48 hours

The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends in the leather booth line dining room and on the patio. Happy Hour starts early at 3p.m. til 6p.m. Mon.-Fri. and will include tasty bites to eat, premium cocktails and house wines.

Famous 48
Miso salmon

The open air patio will include fire pits and couches that will offer diners a more intimate experience.

Hours for Famous 48 will be Mon.- Fri. 11 a.m. -close, Sat. & Sun. 8a.m.- close. and weekend brunch 8a.m.- 2 p.m.

Famous 48 is at 4218 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251 480-758-4994. To see the full menu got their website. Famous 48 is owned by Square One Concepts.

 

Scottsdale League for the Arts to host The Brunch Club December 2nd

Who doesn’t like sipping on champagne while eating French toast, the smell of bacon while lounging at one of the newest resorts in the valley.  Not me, that’s why I’ll be joining The Scottsdale League for the Arts for their newest fundraiser, The Brunch Club on Saturday December 2nd at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.

SCottsdale League for the Arts
Photos courtesy of Jen Pruett and Landon Evans

The Brunch Club will gather starting at 11:30 a.m. and members will spend the next three hours sipping on rose, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as local restaurants will serve up tasty bites to eat including savory quiche to sweet French toast.

In between sips and bites stroll the grounds of Mountain Shadows manicured grounds with Camelback Mountain serving as you backdrop.

The Brunch Club tickets

To become a member of The Brunch Club you must be over 21 years of age and can purchase you tickets online with General Admission ticket priced at $40 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1  tickets will be $45 and $50 at the door while supplies last.

Want to get an early start while others are still waking up, early admission at 10:30 a.m. tickets are available for $65 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1 for $70 and at the door for $75.

Scottsdale League for the Arts

All net proceeds raised will go to the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts which raises money to promote the arts and arts education organizations in the Phoenix area.

Money is raised through out the year by hosting fundraisers such as The Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Dinner. They have donated over $4 million dollars since 2002 to organizations such as Childsplay, Ballet Arizona and Free arts of Arizona.

Mountain Shadows Resort is at 5445 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

Farm & Craft to open along 7th Street restaurant row in Phoenix

Scottsdale’s Farm & Craft is set to open its 2nd location in the spot recently vacated by The Herb Box at The Colony along the popular 7th St. corridor in north central Phoenix. Riot Hospitality Group, owner of Farm & Craft and other local restaurants and bars plans to open the new location in early 2018 after the renovations are complete.

Photos Captured by Peter Speyer | Speyer Photography

Farm & Craft offers guests a healthy and sustainable food and drink menu all in a fast casual atmosphere during breakfast and lunch and a full service restaurant experience during dinner.  The menu will be similar to that of  the Scottsdale location and guests will notice a different design to the Phoenix location as the neighborhood it serves is different and the owners like to adapt to those differences.

“We are very excited to open another Farm & Craft in the Valley,” says Ryan Hibbert, CEO of Riot Hospitality Group. “We saw an opportunity to bring this unique concept to The Colony and we plan to continue to grow the brand.”

Farm & Craft
Photos Captured by Peter Speyer | Speyer Photography

The Wellness Menu offered at Farm & Craft focuses on optimal health through four specific philosophies, “anti-inflammatory diet”, “increasing pro-biotic levels”, “maintaining a high level of anti-oxidants” and “reducing overall stress”. This is done by working with local suppliers to create a menu that uses ingredients that are local, gluten-free, hormone free, organic and sustainable.

Photos Captured by Peter Speyer | Speyer Photography

Farm & Craft offers a juice program that features cold pressed juices and “Kombucha Cocktails”. Signature “Cold Pressed Cocktails” use organic spirits are available at the indoor/outdoor bar as are local beers and unique wines poured from the tap.

With the 2016 opening of the Scottsdale location and the anticipated success of the Phoenix location, Riot Hospitality plans to continue to expand the Farm & Craft brand locally and nationally.

Farm & Craft will be at 5538 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014.